You’re a grown-ass woman, so I presume you were handed a jar of coconut oil at our annual Woman Stuff Colloquium and Pinterest Meet’n’Greet last year. If you went home and forgot about it in the midst of some kind of deeply kitschy yet surprisingly practical craft project, SHAME ON YOU. This stuff is incredible. I had one big jar that I’d been using for everything from moisturizing to shaving lotion to hair treatment to cooking, until I realized there is no circumstance under which you should be constantly moving a product out of your bathroom and into your kitchen for equal use in both rooms. Now I have two jars and I use them both constantly. There’s almost nothing a scoop of cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil can’t be used for. Observe:
This one is the most obvious use, but also one of the best. Coconut oil works as a frying oil at all heats, and can be substituted for butter or other oils in many recipes, making them healthier and adding a hint of sweet coconut-y flavour. Plus it’s lower calorie than butter or olive oil, and packed with good cholesterol. And a little goes a long way—it goes from solid to liquid so quickly, that a little fleck of solid coconut oil can quickly melt and provide enough oil to coat a pan for frying.
My new shower routine involves a gentle towelling off and then a 20 minute period where I’m just standing in the middle of the room unable to touch anything or sit down because my entire body slick with coconut oil. You are welcome for that image. You are further welcome if you got to touch any part of my body in the past two months or so, it is softer than a baby’s bottom, suck on that, babies. It also has an SPF of about 4, and contains vitamins that protect your body against the damage that free radicals can cause as a result of sun exposure. While you probably don’t want to be slathering your face in pure oil if it’s prone to oiliness on its own, anyone with dry skin needs to SMARTEN UP and get on board with the C-O right now. As a bonus it’s also great at treating sunburns, so when you lie to yourself about SPF4 being adequate for your ginger skin, you can soothe that burn with the same product that failed to protect you in the first place. Mmmm.
I have yet to find a gentler make up remover that ALSO smells great and ALSO moisturizes your sensitive little eyelids and ALSO is something you can eat (see above note about separate jars for kitchen and bathroom). You can also use it to clean stickers off glass or gunk off tables, and polish teak or bronze, should you be rich enough to have a great deal of either material in your home.
I feel like the entire task of womanhood is to one day become the kind of person who makes and uses her own organic deodorant. And, like some kind of Whole Foods pilgrim, I swear one day I will get there.
Fancy pamper-y masks and lotions
The best part! You can mix so many household ingredients with coconut oil to make deep conditioning/moisturizing masks for your hair, face, and body. Want an exfoliating scrub? Grab some coconut oil and raw sugar! Deep conditioning your dry hair? Avocado, coconut oil and an egg! Fun face mask? Honey and rose extract and, duh, coconut oil. Your fridge is a spa. Now plop some cucumber into some water and you’re in business.
Sensual massage oil and sexual lubricant
For when you want to pretend you and your partner use the word “lover.” (I feel a duty to point out here that coconut oil is NOT latex friendly, so only use it with a LOVER you trust enough to go condom-free.)
I am currently in the midst of an almost 40 message long Private Internet Thread with 12 different female friends about oil pulling, the hot new use for coconut oil that Big Coconut is spreading around because the hype about green smoothies was really dying down. Sources say: “I am doing it right now and can really feel it working!!”; “I just shot a bunch of the oil “milk” out of my mouth from overly enthusiastic pulling”; and “I’m upset about this. Also I have to do it.” Apparently, popping a teaspoon of oil in your mouth and swirling it around for 20 minutes can clean and whiten teeth, freshen your breath, and help stave off gum disease. Other purported health benefits from the gamut from “improved vision” to “detoxifying the body of harmful metals,” which you can decide how you feel about on your own.
Various pregnancy issues
Stretch marks, perineum stuff, chafe-y nips—if you can feverishly Google it on your phone during the night’s seventh trip to the bathroom because there’s a growing little person pressing on your bladder from the inside, you can use coconut oil to soothe it! You an also rub it all over your baby—they are apparently super into it.
It only takes a few seconds to add coconut oil to a smoothie or cup of coffee, but you can brag about it at work for up to three hours afterwards!
It can also, maybe*, support healthy thyroid function, sooth and help heal scrapes, fade age spots and scars, fight athlete’s foot or toe fungus, sooth psoriasis or eczema, aid digestion and help kill intestinal parasites or yeast, regulate insulin levels, and literally who knows what else. It’s the best! Get some today (online, probably, or at CostCo because straight up, health stores be gougin’.)
*the jury is still out on this**
**out enjoying delicious raw coconut oil-based date squares
Follow Monica on Twitter: @monicaheisey